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PowerShield X - Family of Intelligent Circuit Breakers and Auto Reversers

Pictures | User Contributed Pictures | Updated June 18, 2013

List: from $44.95 (see the list of dealers)

Protected by U.S. patent number 7810435.

The PSX series is a product of Larry Maier's 10 years experience in designing and producing intelligent, solid state, DCC circuit breakers and auto reversers. Patent pending. The PSX specifically addresses the increased inrush loads (currents) which occur due to large capacitors used for sound systems. This load appears as a system short circuit until the capacitors are charged. The logic in the new PSXs determines if the load is a true short or just an inrush overload.

"I installed one of your PSX-AR auto-reverse modules on the feed to my turntable, after having problems getting a Lenz LK100 unit to work. The Lenz unit was very unreliable, resetting and shorting all the time. When I substituted the PSX-AR, it operated faultlessly and invisibly right from the start, with no adjustment required. You don't hear any relay clacking or chattering and in fact you don't even know it is there. It is a pleasure to use your products, they are well engineered and produced and your support and customer service is excellent. "
- Adrian G., Melbourne, Australia

"Our club in SW Florida installed 13 PM42's in 2004. Over the years we have seen half fail. Some due to electronics and others were relay contact problems. Our layout is large and relays over time will fail due to load and arching of contacts during short circuits.Today we are half way through converting to PSX and PSX-AR units. All the installed PSX and PSX-AR's are functioning great. We have added Sonalerts and Remote Status LEDs indicators.We especially enjoy being able to run 4-5 QSI engines on one power district. This was not possible before. They would not restart on the PM42 after a short.I've been an electrical engineer and involved in electronics for 50 years. The Command Stations/Boosters and circuit breakers/RL controllers are the base of the DCC infrastructure. Over time infrastructures must be upgraded or expanded. This is what I see in converting from the PM42 to the PSX and PSX-AR modules. The new modules are solid state and are designed for the higher current demands of today's DCC engines. Happy customer, "
- Lee D.

"Re: Reverse loop inside another reverse loop question?
Actually, Ralph, the AR1 is really little more than a glorified set of switches that are activated by a mechanical relay. If you really, really want to get the bullet-proof fix, consider the combination short-circuit/ reversing gizmo ... called the PSX-AR, I think. Because the short circuit and reversing functions are integrated in a single chip, you don't have to worry about timing considerations between independent devices which themselves can react differently depending on loads, conditions, phases of the moon and how many old Archie comic books are in the atttic. You don't really need to think about anything at all other than what placement of gaps makes the most sense for you operationally. Hook it up, run trains and have a nice day. If something gets wacky, the device will flip-flop polarity for awhile and then finally give up and shut the whole shootin' match down. No mechanical relays -all electronics."

PSX-AR

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DCC Specialties, manufacturer of the unique HARE, Wabbit and other exclusive DCC products, has acquired the rights to the former PowerShield, a market leader line of high performance, reliable DCC circuit breakers and auto reversers. Many new product improvements and innovations have been incorporated in the new series named PowerShieldX.

"Just a quick note from a satisfied customer.  I received my new PS-X 4-circuit circuit breaker yesterday, and installed it today in place of my existing 3-circuit circuit breaker. I purchased your new one because it was advertised as being able to handle the inrush current of sound-equipped locos, and it worked beautifully!

I am using an NCE PowerHouse Pro system, and when a short-circuit occurred, I had to shut down the system using the Emergency Stop button on the ProCab.  Disrupting to the operating session to say the least!  My 'acid test' consisted of shorting out the power district containing at least three sound equipped locos, removing the short, and watching the system come on automatically. This is EXACTLY what I have wanted for a long time (well, since I got into DCC).  Thanks again."

- John S.
Durango in HOn3, ca. 1948

DCC Specialties is so confident about the PSX's quality and performance that they are providing a 1 year "Goof Proof Warranty". The design is so innovative that patents have been applied for.

"I have personally seen a number of decoders reset (sometimes partially, sometimes completely) following a short circuit. One explanation I have heard (but have yet to test personally) is that the scramble is often the result of a strong voltage spike when that energy is released. As a side note, I have only seen these spikes happen when using PM42s and not when we switched to PowerShields, and after that, not since upgrading to the PSX breakers."
- Doug B.

There are (5) versions of the new PSX-AR Series Integrated DCC Circuit Breaker and Auto-Reversers:

(1) PSX-AR, with integrated stall motor decoder
(2) PSX-ARFB, same as above with added network feedback
(3) PSX-ARSC, with integrated snap coil decoder
(4) PSX-ARSCFB, same as above with added network feedback.
(5) PSX-AR-AC, same as above but designed to work on conventional 2 rail AC.

"Wanted to let you know I just purchased a psx; this is my second purchase of your products. I'm impressed that not only do your products install easily, they work exactly as you describe them, and they work well. Good job."
-David

"Our 2 PM42 were giving us a lot of false short circuit indications, I think because of the pitting on the relay contacts. It just so happened that the most used districts (mainline tracks) were the top two on each unit so we shifted the top 2 districts to the bottom 2 positions and our mainline problems disappeared. We know that it is only a matter of time before the problem reappears so we decided to go solid state, using the PSX’s now because our treasury would allow us to do it. Our layout is basically two independent dogbone loops with the ends being reverse loops. This allowed us to have crossovers on each loop without polarity problems. We won't be installing your equipment until after the 1st of the yr so you may hear from us again although your documentation looks to be very complete. "
- Paul

The PSX series also includes 4 DCC power district circuit breakers that incorporate all the same intelligent and exclusive features:

PSX-1: 1 Block Control
PSX-2: 2 Block Control
PSX-3: 3 Block Control
PSX-4: 4 Block Control

"Figured I'd let you know. Got the PSX-AR and replaced the digitrax AR-1. Took 5 minutes. The sound decoder that wouldn't make the loop before works perfectly! So, for what it's worth, at least with the NCE Power Cab, this makes a HUGE difference with sound decoders. And, it's definitely quieter and smoother with all my engines. Thanks.
- Mike "

Features PSX-AR and PSX-ARSC

  • Compatible with the newly introduced 2 Rail AC.
  • Automatic Coordination of Auto Reverse and Circuit Breaker Tasks: It is both a auto reverser and a circuit breaker. Fast, all solid state design with reliable quiet electronic reversing, no blinks, clicks or sparks!
  • Adaptive Load Reset: Electronically senses if the overload is a real short or due to in-rush capacitance of sound decoders.
  • Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts: Integrated stall motor or snap coil decoder, automatically lines up
    switch machines is when the polarity is reversed. Switch machine can also be controlled with standard DCC accessory commands or push buttons.

I would like to thank you for all the great DCC Specialties products. I've experienced issues with other product manufacturers, but after replacing some DCC components the layout is working great. I've started using the PSXAR and love them. The locos and even the sound equipped locos travel through them with absolutely no stalling or hesitations. In the past a few people have had trucks on locos and rolling stock melted due to short circuits, even with another manufacturers circuit breaker installed. Recently we were setting up our N-Trak layout at a show and the power supply got turned on. I wasn't aware that there was a short in a new module until at least 2 hours later. Thanks to the PSX circuit breakers doing what they are meant to do, 2 Digitrax command stations and power supplies were saved. We fixed the short, turned the system back on and everything worked great. Thanks again for great products and exceptional customer service.
- Byron A. Iowa

  • Manual or Automatic Reset: Automatic reset of the breaker or a push button switch can manually reset.
  • Outputs for LED Indicators: LEDs can be added to monitor; input/output power and status.
  • Wide Range of Current Trip Setting: Trip currents are adjustable adjusted by jumpers or CVs: 1.27 to 19.2 A
  • System Reset: A single CV command sets all Addresses and CVs to original factory values.
  • Output for Audio Alarm: An audible sounder can be added to the card to alert you when there is a short.
  • Booster Function for Low Current: Some boosters need help when resetting. Adding a jumper kick starts low Amp systems.
  • Auto Stop with CV Reset: A photocell can detect a train in the reverse section and turn off power. A DCC command can then restore the power.
  • Board size: is 5 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches, designed to fit standard Radio Shack enclosure.

"I've seen a demo of one of the new 'adaptive' breakers from DCC Specialties that was nothing short of phenomenal. We had no less than 14 sound locos in the district - more than half of them older QSIs ... and it recovered from a quarter test short without having to roll any of the locos off of the track! The breaker just kept feeding the power "slowly" until everything was running normal. And it was a reversing section and it worked just as well when reversing. We just could not create a scenario where the breaker would fail to recover. So - if you've got one of those beautiful lighted Cal Zephyrs and an ABBA set of sound-equipped Fs to pull it ... this breaker will allow your layout to come back to life normally after I or someone just like me blows a switch. I know -you- never do this but you see I'm an old fart who can't see very well and so this happens more often than I wish. So, if recovering from shorts is a problem for you ... this is one suh-weeeeeet breaker!"
- Jim B., California

"Just want to say thanks for all the help that you have given me on the installation of our DCC Specialities PSX breakers and PSXAR reversers. Had a lot of people tell me how they should have been done, but with some very helpful people there and given the correct info, was able to get the system and reversers up and running and the layout operational. Again thanks for being patience with me our conversation on the phone and giving me the right advice."
- David E.
Crescent City Model Railroad Club
New Orleans, Louisiana

Features PSX-ARFB and PSX-ARSCFB

  • All of the above plus Feedback and Block Occupancy Feedback, Shorted and Occupancy Status to Digitrax (LocoNet), Lenz (ExpressNet) and NCE (CabBus)
  • Block Occupancy Outputs: Indicates block occupied or if there is a real short, Occupancy Amps adjustable

A few weeks ago i bought from you a PXS- DCC Circuit Barker Decoder. Today was the first day where i had a chance to use this new PCB, and I am so happy to say that it solved a lot of trouble for me. For years i had constant trouble with rush in current, that triggered my Digitrax Command station for a short detection. Since i use the PSX, i can now run long trains, lots of lights in coach cars, or engines with sound, and that with out any trouble. Before i had to clean my track for the longest time to get trains somehow running reliable, now i get away with a minimal cleaning. Now trains will not stop, even if there is a small section where power pickup is interrupted.

First i hooked up the PSX wit default current setting for short 3.81Amp. Since G scale engines tend to draw more power, i had to switch "Short trigger setting" to 6.35Amp, with this setting everything works great. I even went so far and shorted track A+B with a screw driver, the power went down right away, and the screw driver was not welded to the track. Removing the short, the trains started to run again, like described in the manual of the PSX.

The PSX is one of the best investments i made for my G-Scale layout, and i would highly recommend it for any one who has a outdoor layout. Once again thanks a lot for selling me that great PSX, Pius Job.

All PSX Series DCC Circuit Breakers include Network Feedback at no extra charge. Feedback, Shorted and Occupancy Status to  Digitrax (LocoNet), Lenz (ExpressNet) and NCE (CabBus).

Some good news. I just received and tested the DCC Specialties new breaker/reverser, PSX-AR . Finally, a unit designed to work with the Soundtraxx Tsunami, QSI-type decoders' inrush current.
My power source is an NCE PHP. I changed the PSX trip current to the lowest setting, 1.27 Amps. I verified this trip point with a variable power resistor.
I started with one BLI engine. Either a dead short or a 10 Ohm short of any time length required 2.5 seconds after removal for reset. Two engines, the same. Three. Four. Five. SIX!
These were all idling, so I got four running and they began running again 2.5 seconds after any short was removed.
The logic on this board seems to handle the capacitors as if they were not there.
The older PS board requires a setting of 4 Amps to work with QSIs, if I remember correctly. Thus, the new design should make it much less likely that heat damage will occur with a partial short. Gets my vote.
- Hal G.

I just wanted to let you know how satisfied I am with these two products I purchased. I had very mixed result with the reversing loop AR units I was using before. Some engines would go through some would hesitate and others would shut down my power supply. Since I installed these tow devices the reversing sections have performed flawlessly. These were recommended by others, I tried them, and they were correct. Thanks for relieving my frustrations. They literally were hooked up and just worked. Very rare in my world. The product that did not work very well for me was the Digitrax AR-1. I do not want to bad mouth this product or the company. In fact I use many of their decoders etc... I think the fact that I have engines with sound and without sound in consists mixed and separate may have played a part in the problems I was having in setting the adjustment right. But like I said, your products have worked perfectly, and I just wanted to let you know that I was very pleased with the results. - Jim L.

 
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